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HER Number:MDV103395
Name:Water Meadow North of Hill Barton Farm


A post-medieval water meadow, known locally as a catchwater meadow system, is visible as earthwork ditches on aerial photographs taken between 1946 and 2007 and depicted on late nineteenth century mapping. Earthwork remains are likely to survive.


Grid Reference:SS 555 451
Map Sheet:SS54NE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishBerrynarbor
DistrictNorth Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishBERRYNARBOR

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: 1458835
  • National Monuments Record: SS 54 NE 67
  • Pastscape

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • WATER MEADOW (Post Medieval to XX - 1540 AD to 1901 AD)

Full description

Ordnance Survey, 1880-1899, First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map (Cartographic). SDV336179.

Two of the gutters are depicted, but not marked, connecting with the watercourse near Harper's Mill.

Royal Air Force, 1946, RAF/106G/UK/1501, NMR RAF 106G/UK/1501 3291-3292 13-MAY-1946 (Aerial Photograph). SDV349927.

Three parallel gutters are visible as narrow linear earthwork ditches.

GetMapping, 1999 - 2000, Millennium Map 1999-2000 Getmapping (Aerial Photograph). SDV321648.

The gutters are clearly visible as earthworks.

Bluesky, 2006 - 2007, Bluesky aerial photographs 2006 - 2007 (Aerial Photograph). SDV341189.

The gutters are just visible as earthworks, although they have been obscured by several trackways across this parcel of land.

Cook, H. & Williamson, T. (eds.), 2007, Water Meadows: History, Ecology and Conservation, Chapters 1 and 3. (Monograph). SDV349525.

Catchwork, catch-meadow or field-gutter water meadows are a type of water meadow distinctive to the south-west of England. Their form and function are described in chapters 1 and 3.

Exmoor National Park, 2009, Exmoor National Park National Mapping Programme (Archive - Survey). SDV350587.

A post-medieval water meadow, known locally as a catchwater meadow system, is visible as an earthwork on aerial photographs. The system consists of three gutters stretching across two fields on a north-east facing slope adjacent to Woolscott Cleave Plantation, centred at circa SS 5552 4523.
The system extends over an area measuring approximately 254 metres by 89 metres, covering an area of 1.8 hectares. The series of roughly parallel gutters were used to distribute flowing water evenly over the meadow in order to encourage early growth in spring and prevent freezing in winter. The system does not appear to be linked with any nearby farmsteads and is therefore likely to be a detached system, with no access to liquid manure except what was carried out to it.

Knight, S., 2012, Backlog Input Element of the North Devon Coast AONB National Mapping Programme Project (Interpretation). SDV350734.

Two of the earthworks are depicted on the 1880s-1890s Ordnance Survey mapping, extending to the north and south of the transcribed gutters, and with an additional parallel gutter depicted to the west close to the road. The water source appears to have been to the south, near Harper's Mill. The catchmeadow was established before the late nineteenth century, and remained in use until at least the mid twentieth century, as the earthworks are clear on aerial photographs taken in 1946. Earthwork remains are likely to survive, and are visible on digital images derived from aerial photographs taken between 1999 and 2007.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV321648Aerial Photograph: GetMapping. 1999 - 2000. Millennium Map 1999-2000 Getmapping. Millennium Map. Photograph (Digital).
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV341189Aerial Photograph: Bluesky. 2006 - 2007. Bluesky aerial photographs 2006 - 2007. Bluesky. Photograph (Digital).
SDV349525Monograph: Cook, H. & Williamson, T. (eds.). 2007. Water Meadows: History, Ecology and Conservation. Water Meadows: History, Ecology and Conservation. Chapters 1 and 3..
SDV349927Aerial Photograph: Royal Air Force. 1946. RAF/106G/UK/1501. Royal Air Force Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). NMR RAF 106G/UK/1501 3291-3292 13-MAY-1946. [Mapped feature: #62873 ]
SDV350587Archive - Survey: Exmoor National Park. 2009. Exmoor National Park National Mapping Programme. Digital.
SDV350734Interpretation: Knight, S.. 2012. Backlog Input Element of the North Devon Coast AONB National Mapping Programme Project. Digital.

Associated Monuments: none recorded

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Dec 10 2012 4:08PM